World Trade Center in association with Embassy of Finland, Business Finland and SAS Partners organized a webinar “Finland – A Global Technology Hub & Gateway to European Market”. Speakers included – H.E. Ms. Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Ambassador of Finland to India; Mr. Jukka Holappa, Commercial Counsellor & Country Director India, Business Finland; Mr. Lars Hagebris, Director – International Operations, Invest In Finland, Business Finland; Ms. Maria Carlsson – Corporate Head, M&A – Finland, Bird & Bird; Mr. Deepak Padaki, Executive Vice President. Group Head – Strategy, M & A Chief Risk Officer, Infosys and Mr. Kunal Pandya, CEO, Ncrypted Technologies; Mr. V. Vijay Kumar, Advisor, SAS Partners Corporate Advisors was the moderator.
H.E. Ms. Ritva Koukku-Ronde in her keynote address spoke how India and Finland always enjoyed warm bilateral relations. India is one of top 5 trade partners of Finland from South-East Asia. She mentioned that over 120 Finnish companies have setup operations in India, but still the trade is below potential. International companies will benefit from Finland’s reliable infrastructure, highly educated workforce, international connectivity and ease of doing business. Indian companies like Infosys, Wipro, Mahindra etc. have already set up office in Finland. Finland has the 2nd most skilled workforce according to a recent survey by World Economic Forum. It has one of the best human per capita index in terms of education, wellbeing and employment which makes it the ‘happiest country in the world’. Knowledge transfer between universities and companies makes Finland very successful in the field of R&D.
Mr. Holappa explained the mandates of Business Finland – promoting exports & investment, funding and attracting talent. He listed the possible areas where Finland and India could have synergy – sustainability, education, AI, clean energy, cloud computing, cyber security, data centers, health technology and quantum computing. He added that there are multiple reasons for indian companies to consider Finland like its thriving business ecosystem, access to Nordic and European markets, regulatory stamp from Finland, access to innovation etc.
Mr. Hagebris mentioned that Finland is the 3rd most innovative country in the world and has a vibrant startup scene reminiscent of the Silicon Valley culture. The problem solving approach adopted by the Fins is unique. It is a nation of early adopters. It is home to gaming industry unicorns like Supercell and Rovio.
Ms. Carlsson gave a broad overview of the legal formalities to set up business in Finland. Mr. Deepak Padaki and Mr. Kunal Pandya shared their experiences while establishing their offices in Finland. Dr. Bose Nair, Vice President, World Trade Centre Bengaluru, Kochi & Chennai and Mr. Alex T. Koshy, Director, SAS Partners Corporate Advisors also spoke. It was also an opportunity for the participants to clear their queries directly with the officials and to connect with them.